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This document is intended to summarize the events that lead to the creation of the PanoToolsNG Yahoo Group and the move away from

Short history

The first PanoTools mailinglist "proj-imim" was created by Helmut Dersch and was hosted at the fh-furtwangen. After a patent threat from Ipix the list was shut down around 2003-04-17 and the community decided to move to the PanoTools Yahoo Group created by John Spikowski. John Spikowski managed the list and refused the help of other list members because he didn't trust them: [1]

First attempts to move to

  • 2004-11-12 John Spikowski registered [2]
  • 2004-11-22 John Spikowski's first try to move the community to a forum at [3]
  • 2005-03-05 John Spikowski first asked for money [4]
  • 2005 03-15 John Spikowski tried to migrate the list to mailman [5] claiming that his work is worth 50.000$ and coining the infamous The bottom line is that being a PanoTools members is no longer going to be a free ride. [6]
  • 2005-03-18 After this events Kevin Kratzke joined John Spikowski as list mom [7]

Next attempts

  • 2005-09-18 Creation of the PT-Beta list [8]
  • 2006-05-22 New server for (150$ per month) next request to move to this server [9]
  • 2006-05-23 More intense request for donations [10] and calling critics whiners [11]
  • 2006-06-01 John Spikowski starts to "Mirror" the Yahoo group [12] with a fork in mind
  • 2006-06-04 Steven Dowd found out that John Spikowski is using the server for other projects including his commercial pages [13]
  • 2006-06-06 John Spikowski, Yuval Levy and Bert Vierstra are blocked from posting for a month [14] but John Spikowski was still able to post to the list [15]
  • 2006-06-09 John Spikowski announced the PTML list [16] to fork the list as explained in [17]
  • 2006-06-26 John Spikowski announced to sell the domain [18]

Changing the management

A poll was set up where 93% voted to change the management of the PanoTools list so as a first step where new moderators added [19], [20] and Kevin Kratzke signaled that he would give the ownership of the list to a formal entity like the IVRPA or a non-profit organisation as a Verein. John Spikowski didn't like that idea.

  • 2006-07-10 John Spikowski regained ownership through a back door, removed all moderators including Kevin Kratzke and changed the list to moderated [21]
  • 2006-07-10 The PanoTools NG list was created
  • 2006-07-20 PanoTools list closed [22]


Since then John Spikowski has acted in a very unreliable manner. One day he offers peace: [23] the next he spreads wild accusations, mostly on his site, the next he removes the accusations again (hence no link). On (now only on there is a list of answers to his most frequent accusations.

External incidents

After the move of the community to the NG list John Spikowski also tried to disturb the list at Nabble where he tried to delete the list several times or changed the description [24] and on Wikipedia where he modified the PanoTools article several times [25] and attacked other people for which he got several admin warnings and blocks [26], [27], [28]

Some days before 2006-09-28 he started to copy articles from this wiki thereby deleting the history, which is a clear violation of the authors copyright and of the GFDL (Paragraph 4.I.) under which the wiki articles where released.

Attempted Blackmail

Starting about middle of August 2007 John Spikowski attempted to blackmail several PanotoolsNG members and admins by registering domains with their names (or products). He pointed those domains to his own pages where he tried to defame the respective persons by describing them as being "a thief who steals assets and resources of other web sites", or an "internet terrorist" who "steals others identities", "posts lies and propaganda" and "slanders people who don't agree with his warped sense of reality".

He tried to make these targets of his vendetta look silly by depicting them as a clown or falsely stating that thier products violate copyright and carry viruses and spyware.

His main goal appeared to be an attempt to hide the history of his constant accusations and rants against PanotoolsNG members and admins.

Prior to posting the defaming pages he sent his targets / victims demands for the deletion of this (history) page and the [29] debunk page (now only on He also gave a warning that failure to comply with these demands would result in the defamatory pages going on-line and also all links in his so called "archive" would be changed to point to that defamatory pages. He tried to threaten the respective members with sentences like "I promise you the damage to your reputation and the products you sell will cost you more then all the time you invested in NG to date." and "I will continue to come up with ways to make this as painful as possible..."

The Moderators respect the rights of the individual targets / victims to choose their own response but as a group refuse to negotiate with terrorists or blackmailers.

Proof is available on request and will be disclosed if requested by a legal process. closed

  • 2008-05-25 John Spikowski announces to close on the quicktime-vr mailing list and on panoguide "Due to the lack of participation on the forum / mailing list and the loss of sponsors."
  • 2008-05-29 seems to be no longer available.